The economic crisis has affected Veolia Environnement`s volumes of solid waste collected from industrial clients and hazardous waste volumes in the first quarter of 2009. The decline in industrial waste volumes was approximately 10 percent, in line with the company`s expectations. The decrease in volume was marginally offset by a positive impact from pricing. The recycling activities, which represented around 9 percent of the Environmental Services’ division revenue in the first quarter of 2009, were in net decline (-46 percent), mainly due to the drop in prices, says Veolia Environnement.
* In France, despite the full-year impact of the acquisition of Bartin Recycling Group, revenue decreased 6.9 percent due to the decline in volumes linked to the economic slowdown.
* Outside France, organic growth declined 8.9 percent. Most geographical regions were impacted by the economic downturn. Accordingly, in Germany revenue fell Euro 83 million (in the first quarter of 2009 as compared with the first quarter of 2008, notably due to lower volumes and the decline in prices in the paper business, as well as the slowdown in some activities such as industrial cleaning), as it did in North America (where the 14.5 percent appreciation in the dollar’s exchange rate offset the 7.8 percent decline in organic growth due in particular to the decline in treated volumes) and in Asia-Pacific. Revenue in the United Kingdom remained flat at constant consolidation scope and exchange rates.
Measures implemented to adapt to the economic downturn in the waste management business, targeting a reduction in costs of Euro 100 million in 2009, were launched during the first quarter. As expected, the effects of these programs will mostly eventuate during the second half of the year.
Operating cash flow ( Euro 250.6 million, a decrease of 27 percent at current exchange rates) and operating income fell markedly in the first quarter of 2009 in comparison with the first quarter of 2008. This decline mainly resulted from the economic slowdown that has particularly affected France and Germany, while the implementation of measures to adapt to the downturn is currently underway.